Earlier this month, leading Democratic congressman Chris Van Hollen (MD) indicated that he was "open to all ideas" on Medicare and Social Security cuts. Discussing a hike in the Medicare retirement age, he told a group of corporate CEOs, "I think it should be part of the conversation."
On November 14th, one day after Van Hollen made his original remarks, Progressive Change Campaign Committee members sprung into action, flooding his office with constituent phone calls and asking him to take benefit cuts off the table.
Today on Fox, Van Hollen made his first definitive statement that raising the Medicare age was off the table for him:
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: Look at Medicare, what you're doing by moving it from 65 to 67 is again not reducing costs in Medicare, it's not really reforming the Medicare system you're just transferring those costs and risks onto people who may be 66 years old.
ANCHOR: You are reforming the Medicare system because it's going to go bust in several years, so if you prolong the program and make the age later, people are living longer, so isn't that age sort of outmoded and isn't that a good thing to address long term?
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: There are a lot better ways of doing it.
ANCHOR: That's a no I'm hearing. You're not willing to change the age.
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: No, because there are much better ways of dealing with Medicare costs. Let's look at ways we can reduce the cost of without transferring rising healthcare costs.
We applaud Congressman Van Hollen for listening to his constituents and taking this much-discussed Medicare benefit cut off the table. Today, PCCC members in his district will be calling to thank Van Hollen for his bold statement -- and we'll urge him to firmly ...